DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State on Monday ordered a Republican county clerk who has echoed former President Donald Trump’s demands for “audits” of elections to return a copy he says he made of his county’s election system, a potential breach of security.
Jena Griswold’s office said in a statement that Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Dallas Schroeder disclosed he made the copy of the system’s hard drive before Aug. 27. The disclosure came in an affidavit Schroeder filed in a lawsuit against Griswold’s office claiming weaknesses in election security. Schroeder last fall joined the lawsuit, filed by backers of Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The Secretary of State’s office said Schroeder made the copy of the election system before the system was rebuilt for the upcoming contest, so there’s no sign of “imminent or direct security risk to Colorado’s elections.” Still, Griswold is ordering Schroeder to sit for a deposition to determine the extent of any security breach.
Schroeder did not immediately return a call for comment.
He is the second Colorado clerk who has gotten in hot water over accusations of election security breaches.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, also a Republican, is under state and federal investigation for an alleged security breach of the election system there. A judge already barred Peters, who appeared at a meeting of Trump-supporting election conspiracy theorists, from running the county’s 2021 contest. Griswold earlier this month sued to block Peters from running this year’s election.
This story has been corrected to show Griswold’s first name is spelled Jena, not Jenna.